Monthly Archives: June 2014

Aside

Last Sunday I posted a milestone in the 2nd installment of “Why Is This Here”: the first sex scene in any of my stories. Ther’ve been some implied events, but most references to sex tended to be pretty discrete or … Continue reading

Why Is This Here — 3rd Installment

A large vertical oil framed in mahagony between the entertainment center and a square black pedestal with a bronze abstraction on it, the top half of the painting featured broad vertical strokes in sepia on a white field, the bottom half narrower horizontal strokes in the same sepia, heavy in the center and revealing more white as they tapered down to the lower edge, across the center of the field in darker brown that faded toward the left side spanned a rickety wooden pedestrian bridgeon which stood the figure of a forlorn androgyne in the same brown as the bridge leaning forward, elbow on a rail and hand cupping its chin, in the background merging into the broad stroked slight shadowy figures. In the bottom left corner floated a series of letters, Martin gazed at those letters, put them together. M-Ma-jor he said. Major. Major . . . YES. His son, yes yes. He looked to the floor. He paints he said. Major my son he paints. His face furrowed, his upper body rocked, his hands clenched and unclenched repeatedly, his name his name, what’s his name he said aloud. Major, Major. Yes but what’s his name. He glanced at the painting, at the name, he turned abruptly and rushed to the long hallway that passed the bathroom and den to the kitchen eating area.

One wall of the hallway from chestheight to the ceiling was covered with framed photos, sticky notes attached to most of them formal scenes portraits urban and natural landscapes action shots, photos of family friends close relatives colleagues, everyone and everything that had once mattered to him in his pursuit of the life worth living, the flourishing life. Like a panning camera his eyes roamed, searched, for what he wasn’t quite certain, but he was vaguely sure that he’d know when he saw it, and then it it struck him, slapped him, he shook it off — there it was, a portrait, the face of his son, next to it a shot of him brush in hand before an easel. In the frame of the portrait the name Terrance was etched. Terrence. Martin nodded, Terrence, yes yes. He almost smiled. A good boy, a fine fine boy. Tall boy. Studying the portrait he lingered at the blue eyes, the blond hair, the thick sensuous lips. Let’s see, where is now Martin thought, he looked away, his mind rewound, fasforwarded through nothing, he grimaced with effort eyes tightly closed, at nothing, there was simply nothing there, grimacing, Damn he said. Damn. He opened his eyes and they roamed again and he found the same name printed on a postit note attached to the photo of a small child, ah there he is he thought. The child Terrence is in his third year his face is smiling beneath large darkblue eyes and brows quite thick for such a small tot, hair black back then like a rough sea. Martin Major stands transfixed, stationary as the photo, he hears a radio as he, prone, plays on a carpeted floor with Terrence, he hears a song on the radio that animates him, he jumps to all fours looks Terrence in the eyes says I love this song, says Wanna dance? Terrence’s face beams laughs he nods scrambles to his feet, Martin swoops him up and they dance. It’s a lovely little ditty called “A Never Ending Love for You,”  Martin loves this song, it’s as gentle as its title and the singers’s voices, he whispers the lyrics as Terrence hums along, he holds the child quite firmly dancing a slow polka concentrating on the joy of the words the gentle acoustic strumming, the closeness of their bodies. They glide and whirl and he gazes at his little boy’s face and laughs as Terrence’s head twirls, openmouthed smile stretching his face, dark eyes wide and glistening, effusing glee. And then Terrence is four and they’re playing with little cars and trucks on the floor, Terrence rapt in wonder holds up a car and stares at the spinning wheels as he swipes them over and over with his thick dimpled fingers, an LP by The Who playing on the stereo.  A song ends and during the interval before the next one Martin suddenly looks at Terrence who’s already gazing at him smiling, setting his toy aside, Martin returns the smile lifts his brows, lowers his head a bit, raises his eyes to an upper corner, hunches and draws in his shoulders, all in the gesture of a naughty secret shared, Terrence imitates him, they both leap to their feet Martin swoops up the little boy just as the song “Baba O’Riley” begins, and they dance.      

Why Is This Here? — Second installment (Copyright 2014)

After his third set, breathing hard, the tendons at his elbows mildly sore, he paced for a couple of minutes, stopped and looked at the high ceiling. He noticed for the first time the sound of violins then a voice, a gorgeous contralto, whatshername, damn why can’t I remember, he winces with effort, aahaah Toni, Toni. Must have left the music on again. The reverent strains of Ombra Mai Fu wafted through the room. His feet left the floor with the first expansion and the next thing he knew he was a feather gliding mindlessly, without purpose, arms at his side visiting the spare chandaliere the thin cracks in the ceilingpaint, turning onto his back toes pointed like a dreamy ballerina through wafts of chords sometimes unstable but in Handel’s hands always justified, it was always like this, first one thing then another, or rather one thing and then the other, the airiness of just being one minute the weight of living the next, a fancy pirouette and then the clumsy trip and fall, the clunking into a wall, the wailing and the horselaugh, the clouds and the blinding sunshine. Ah yes, plenty of all those contradictions, plenty of them. They fill your cup, occupy the hours the days the years. One after the other. And always in a moment’s shiver POOF — gone. On to the next thing. But now it’s the largo, and oh that first retrograde, it got him every time, and that contralto, whatsisname, whatsisname, you’d think for certain it was a woman, that first long note, you could ride it like a young thoroughbred from here to . . . wherever and back, like a slipstream, ah there’s a nice word, but shut up and listen. And then it was over, replaced by another aria on a CD full of them.

She always like to suck my toes better than my cock he thought. His eyes were fixed on the sumptuous sectional sofa, sandycolored with delicate veiny outlines of leaves floating on it, white ovate slightly curved at the tips. God I didn’t know it would be so delicious he thought, electric . . . god what she did to them, he remembered cum all over the place, everywhere except in her mouth, all over himself the blanket spread over the sofa, a different one back then, that’s when she attacked him, intent on making him rise up to her this time, you can’t get away with that shit by yourself she growled, no room on that sofa to turn, to roll her over pin her down gain some ascendancy, he became her lollipop, that’s what she murmured to him, her icecream cone oh god, she mewed and licked and gnawed and swore like an avenging sergeant, her voice dropped a good two octaves, she kept at it until he hardened again and then she leaped to her knees straddling him and he came again and she did too loud and shrill, almost crying. He was wringing his hands now, bones and pliant skin, he loved her hands the small knuckles the soft veins, he loved her wrists her ribs her juicy mouths both of them, lips that swelled and twisted and sucked, his tongue lapping up her sap. His hands were down at the fork of his legs now, there was a resounding aria flushing his ears, Gheorghiu singing Vissi d’arte, his cock was turgid but not hard he came nevertheless, tense contorted and bent, a tight grimace carving expression on his formerly blank face, he felt sticky fluid oozing through the tiny pores of his cotton pajama pants wetting his hands oh oh he thought when he caught his breath, better get them changed, there’s another set in the bathroom he thought. Wiping his hands on his pajamas he turned toward the bathroom, spotted another painting on the wall, what’s this he wondered. 

A new story: “Why Is This Here?” Installment 1 (Copyright 2014)

The door closed quietly and Martin Major heard a soft click and some metallic sounds and his wife Toni’s voice once more saying Good-bye and See you soon. Byebye he said, his voice thin but expressive of a child’s resignation. He stood and gazed at the smoothgrained door, teak like all the trim and doors and half the furnishings in their apartment, his eyes roaming up and down as if searching for something vague but expected, the lock that perhaps he was seeking not too cleverly camouflaged on the knob under clear duct tape. Not only did his eyes fail to discern the tape over the knob’s dark brass lock but his hand did too as he gripped the knob, tried vainly several times to turn it, and finally conceded with a slight grimace to his imprisonment. He’d already forgotten where she was headed, the hardwardstore? the drugstore?

Byebye, byebye he said. See you later alligator. He snapped off his glasses, scratched at a lens with his pinkienail, returned them. In some other life. My sweet. His eyes remained on the door for a full minute, his face blank as the smooth wood, before he turned to behold the vast room before him.

At least it seemed vast to Martin Major, whose gaping eyes and sharp intake of breath were more apropos to the first sight of a glowing canyon than to the narrow atrium and ordinary livingroom that he would enter as soon as he collected himself. Byebye he said once more, he lowered his head passed his hands through his thinning hair, gray with some remaining streaks of hazel running through it, and ambled across the hardwood floor, turned to see where he’d come from then turned back, his eyes roved visually over the smart Danish furniture and appointments, the fine leather cushions the pillows the vases and pottery, all the dried flowers and stems, the spare iron lamps, he pursed his mouth and nodded, It’s all good he might have said, yes indeed.

I wonder when . . . he squinted , blinked hard with one eye, jerked his head in resignation. I wonder when whatshername. He stopped his amble, tilted his head a bit downward and pursed his lips, he closed his eyes drew a hard straight line of his mouth tightened his face stood there, he knows her name, it’s so close, just at the tip of his tongue, he hears a voice, Don’t do anything to yourself now do you hear me, you be careful with yourself, I wont be long, I’ve just got a couple of items to buy you’ve got to be here for me when I get back, he nods his head almost shyly, but when was that he thinks, was that now or when, resigned and with effort he wags his head. Damn. I’m hungry. He turned, raised his eyes, they locked on a picture which he approached, a painting in oils, oranges and blues and browns, thick black outlines active strokes, a man on a corner with a dog in his arms peering around a brick building down an empty street. His brows knitted, he seemed to be studying the image. Why is this here he thought. Ugly. He backed up a few steps before turning, getting his bearings, he noticed on the floor beside the cordovan sofa a more familiar object, a black dumbbell, twenty pounds, he approached it and picked it up with a tight grip, he curled it once, twice, twentyfive times, then lightly tossed it to his left hand and repeated the motion, enjoying the tension in his arm with a smile that faded at eighteen and turned into a grimace at twentyone, always harder on his left arm than his right, but he managed as always to finish. He bent and replaced the weight on the berber rug and, breathing hard, began to pace, peering at his wristwatch every ten seconds, then he retrieved the dumbbell and repeated the exercise. He felt the familiar bulging in his upper arms, the tension against his shirtsleeves, and when finished with the set he clutched his biceps in turn with a widely arcing hand and smiled. 

 

 

June 19, 2014

Made a few minor changes to the last two sections of Installment 7. Will let it sit now for awhile, reread it once in awhile, let it roll around in my head, then start the serious revisions. In the meantime I’ve got something new that I’ll begin tomorrow. My best to each of you. 

Second continuation of Installment seven — Dunston Maycroft . . .

Former DeanofStudents Dunston Maycroft trembles in the cooler, he’s stopped pacing, all hint of movement, all tremors cease as if frozen fuck you dead fuck you dead you motherfucker fuck you dead motherfuckhe hears the ringing of a telephone it’s the campus police, We’re bringing over two female students who engaged in a brawl in Professor Miyoshi’s humanities class, Dunston wants to answer but finds himself at a loss, Hmm? he says, huh? as he mutely clutches the receiver the shihtzu’s face appears to him, blown up, it assails him, that open mouth, that tense quivering, the confinement, the eyes, the silence of its voice, the silence, the deafening torment, fuck you dead you motherfucker.

 

He’d brought books to throw in the fire, feed it, they were his favorite books, the complete Shakespeare Homer Milton Ovid Kafka Eco McCarthy Schama, a dozen others, the Heller the Yutang the Wordsworth, the ones he’d always thought he’d take to a desert island if ever shipwrecked, if he was going to die ablaze they may as well go with him — him and the marys and sacredhearts and bobbleheads and trolls and all the other polyetheline icons left behind with the daubers and markers and winter coats, he’d brought an addressbook and a journal just begun (first entry titled Pie Blazencrazed), and a family photoalbum that featured his son Troy in his fifth year, they were all going to join him in the conflagration. He took a deep breath and exhaled  and breathed in deeply again and let out a bellow Aaaah — frugeetineledipscreedo and he opened the cooler door which offered no more resistance than weight, he fully expected to usher in waves of famished flames that would send him into instant shock and a quick state of peace. What entered instead, no not entered but quite without a moment’s delay engulfed him books sausages hamberger patties condiments and all was a whirling blackness reeking of skin hair plastic pigments and tar, though his mind registered none of these, only a crushing effluvium of some odious and toxic composition. Dunston Maycroft stumbled through the doorway took two steps and fell with an armload of books into the roiling smoke, thoughtless as the stock surrounding him, timeless now as the curling pages of tale anecdote and wisdom, all language finally reduced to an unheard excruciating gasp.

Continuation of Installment 7: The Supple World of Dunston Maycroft

6/12/14

[The last entry, written a few days ago, can be found near the end of installment 7 before this continuation. Sorry for any confusion.]

 

Dunston suddenly jerks stiffly erect, his eyes wide hard about to burst as if he’s being addressed by an acrimonious deity. A dog’s face fills his field of vision, it’s a shih tzu’s face, its mouth is gaping and silent in a shaggy head that’s trembling not quite imperceptibly, it’s in a cage on a counter in a humanesociety lobby, Dunston has taken it there to have its wasted little life put to rest, the bland room is brightly lit, plastic fronds drape over the cage. The face screams voicelessly at him, Dunston hears something, or thinks he does, it stuns him like a taser, the dog knows it’s going to die, its face is square and bristly and the gaping mouth seems a rectangle protesting to him in a bodyfreezing silence through vocal cords that had stopped working months before, the jaw is as broad as the forehead, all straight lines and right angles this face, the nearly invisible brows mere horizontal slashes over rhomboidal eyes, eyes full of confusion like an iimpaled infant’s eyes, and then Dunston hears a real voice sees another face, this one belonging to a selfproclaimed poet-lyricist-studentathlete failing an anthropology course, one random nightmare following another, the face is ruddy and thick and full of blazing contempt I don’t need you to give me the textbooks I don’t need your charity I’ll buy them myself the face says, But you’ve failed four quizzes based on textbook content and you’re facing the midterm exam next week Dr. Maycroft says, which is half based on the textbook, how do you expect to do well on the midterm without studying the text? I’m not worried about it the face says, I’ll do alright, I’ll borrow the book. He crosses the room, hard and compact, poet-lyricist-studentathlete, his sneakers soundless on the hardwood floor, he turns flashes the EvilEye, head slightly down irises pupils dark and menacing under thick black brows trying aiming to kill the DeanofStudents, he closes the office door. Here says the DeanofStudents, you don’t close the door, he rushes past the poet-lyricist-studentathlete, reopens the door what’s the matter the poet-lyricist-studentathlete says, you scared of me? I’m not scared of you he meets the defiant eyes his body tense, his own eyes hard and sharp, it’s policy we don’t close doors when a student’s in the room, the youth moves to reclose it, Dr. Maycroft blocks the way, if you want to talk we keep the door open. And then he’s gone and the DeanofStudents watches him glide down the corridor, watches him slow down, stop, slowly turn, he sneers when the EvilEye bores in on him, Fuck you dead you motherfuck. The poet-lyricist-studentathlete’s voice is like a  blast surging through the hallway, burning away the DeanofStudent’s sneer, Fuck you dead motherfucker. A second surge. It’s all over Dunston Maycroft thinks, but when he utters the thought aloud he hears szanshifrand slocur.